The United States government played a major role in the creation of the internet back in the 1980s, and many do not realize that ever since then the US government has had massive control over the global web. That is until recently, when Edward Snowden leaked information that left much of the world reeling. Snowden revealed shocking news that the National Security Agency (NSA), alongside several international espionage organizations, has been using the internet as a tool for spying on millions of people. With Snowden’s revelation, the world has gone up in arms, and has been calling for the United States to relinquish its control of the internet.
While it isn’t much of a surprise that the United States has been using the internet to spy on people, the most recent news is absolutely shocking. The United States has caved in, and has announced that it will indeed be handing over its power over the web within the next two years.
On March 14 2014, the US. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the main agency for advising the President of the United States regarding telecommunications administration, announced that it will be working with the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in order to work on transferring control of the Domain Name System (DNS) to a neutral non-governmental agency.
Perhaps this isn’t too much of a surprise. ICANN was started in 1998 by the US government in order to fulfill the role of being a private agency that would oversee a vast amount of the internet’s functioning. However, while private, ICANN still had a lot of US interference, but with the new transitions planned for 2015, the internet will be even more free from the US. The new internet will not be overseen by ICANN specifically, rather ICANN is being tasked with the mission of founding a new agency made up of interested private organizations and international governmental bodies.
The internet doesn’t belong to the United States, the whole world is invested in the huge network, and therefore it makes sense that control of the internet should not be so heavily in the hands of the US Government. An organization that embraces the international character of the internet will be best for the continued functioning of the internet, and will hopefully allow users to feel more secure in their internet usage, without having their government control what they can see. ICANN seems to be dedicated to this, already inviting international governments and companies to work with them to form this new organization. ICANN plans on having the new group set up by September 2015.
Edited by Cassandra Tucker